How to Customise the Start Menu on Windows 10


One of key attractions of Windows 10 is how customisable it is. With a bit of tech know-how, almost every area of the operating system can be modified to your liking. 

However, one area that is often left relatively untouched is the Start Menu. It’s probably the first thing you click on once your PC or laptop has booted up, but many choose to stick with Microsoft’s default layout. 

If you’d like to spice up what you see when you click the Windows icon, here are five aspects of the Windows 10 Start Menu that you can customise.

Resize the Start Menu

By default the Start Menu takes up about almost half of the screen. Resizing it is simple:

Click the Start Menu to open it
Move your cursor to the top edge of the window until a double-sized arrow appears
Click and drag up or down to make the window larger or smaller, and simply release when you reach the desired size

If you’d prefer, you can also make the Start Menu take up the whole screen by default. Open Settings > Personalisation > Start and turn on the toggle which says ‘Use Start full screen’

Pin and unpin applications

You can pin an app from anywhere on the computer, although we’re using the desktop here. 

Simply right-click the icon and choose ‘Pin to Start’.

It will now appear as a new tile on the right side of the Start Menu, below any icons that are already there. 

To remove any app that has been pinned, just right-click on it in the Start Menu and choose ‘Unpin from Start’.

Customise live tiles

This is almost worth an article in its own right. First up is changing the size of live tiles:

Open the Start Menu
Right-click any tile you want to resize and choose ‘Resize’
You should now be presented with a choice of ‘Small’, ‘Medium’, ‘Wide’ or ‘Large’, alongside a useful diagram. Select the one of your choosing.

You might also want to move tiles around within the Start Menu:

Open the Start Menu
Click and hold on the icon you’d like to move
Drag to its new location and the other tiles should automatically adjust around them

What about if you don’t want these ‘live’ tiles to be live at all? Here’s how to stop it from displaying a slideshow of recent content:

Open the Start Menu
Right-click the live tile you want to disable
Click More > Turn Live Tile off

The categories of live tiles are currently set to ‘Productivity’ and ‘Explore’ by default. Here’s how to customise them:

Open the Start Menu and locate the category you’d like to change
Click on the name and enter text of your choosing
Change main colour
Head to Settings > Personalisation > Colors
Here you have a choice between a light and dark theme, as well as accent colour. The latter is set to a deep blue by default

Add folders

Next to the live tiles, there’s a long list of programs arranged alphabetically. Here’s how to ensure there are also folders in that list:

Head to Settings > Personalisation > Start
At the bottom of the menu that appears, click ‘Choose which folders appear on Start’ and ensure the ‘Documents’ toggle is switched on

These tips all apply to the Windows 10 Start Menu in its current iteration, but that may change in the upcoming redesign. 


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